Mrs. Earl Nuckols presented this dress to the Grayson County Historical Society in 1981.
In 1933, Mrs. Nuckols, the former Virginia Witherow of Galax, VA., saw First Lady, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt at the Folk Life Festival at Whitetop, VA. Some time after the festival, this small town school teacher wrote the First Lady and asked for the dress she had worn to this festival. To have a young, small town school teacher display the audacity to write the First Lady of our country and ask for her dress, is a source of admiration, considering the social conventions of that time. Judging from the letters she received from the White House, she was persistent. Sometime in the mid 1930’s, she finally received a dress from Mrs. Roosevelt, although not the dress the First Lady had worn to the Whitetop Festival in 1933.
The Grayson County Historical Society would like to thank Mr. Roger P. Marshall, Sr., a local cabinet maker, for building the beautiful walnut cabinet in which the prized dress is displayed.
The “Eleanor Roosevelt Dress Exhibit” was debuted at the 2011 Fall Foliage Festival, an annual event held in Independence, VA.
"Eleanor Roosevelt Dress Exhibit"
on display at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence, VA